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Q: Best place for brakes?

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I think it needs more than pads. Can you suggest most reasonably priced place for brake service?
My car has a manual transmission.

A: Hi there. I'll be glad to help you on y...

Hi there. I'll be glad to help you on your brake question for your 2006 Volvo. You are right, even if you have not looked at your brakes frankly (you should be a Mechanic!). That is, you cannot just throw a set of pads on a car and call that a "brake job"; there is much more to the story. However, the issue of "what is a reasonable cost" is not relevant until you figure out exactly what is technically required to fix or overhaul your brakes. A car is a machine and machines only "care" about mechanical or technical requirements of operation (i.e., machines don't care about "costs"). Putting it comically, you might be happy to save money on a poorly executed or "incomplete" brake repair but your car will definitely not be happy and your car will let you know that.

In finding a good shop, or using the services of YourMechanic, what you want to be aware of are the following facts about brakes. Basically, just go over these items with your mechanic and the two of you together can then intelligently decide what is the best and least cost approach that will get the job done for you given the specific condition of the brakes parts on your vehicle.

Rotors are typically not re-usable because they get worn down, scored, and warped. Rotors have to either be turned on a brake lathe or replaced outright. If replacing, you have the issue of selecting a reputable vendor which a good mechanic can help you with.

Auto parts are not created equal - there are huge variances in quality from vendor to vendor. "Used" brake calipers, torque plates, and hardware are notorious for sticking once you get beyond a certain age due to corrosion and the extremely high temperature operating conditions that brakes function in.

I have learned the hard way that the absolute best way to do a brake job is to buy loaded calipers, that is the COMPLETE brake assembly with a re-manufactured caliper, torque plate and pads all put together, from a reputable vendor such as AC Delco (re-manufactured calipers are not created equal), install new rotors from a reputable vendor, bleed ALL four wheels and you will have a trouble-free installation. Anything short of that is sub-optimal. YourMechanic can guide you through that process by inspecting your brake system, give you additional insight, and repair your brake pads and other components if needed.

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